HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has begun an aggressive generic medication campaign as of January 2008 in which it waives the copayment on all generic drugs that treat congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. According to the new report entitled Blue Profiler: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the campaign, called Medication Dedication, is the plan's attempt to encourage members to take prescription drugs as directed and to make the overall cost of drugs more affordable.

"In 2007, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's generic utilization rate was higher than its two major competitors, UnitedHealthcare and CIGNA Healthcare," said Heather Wicks, analyst at HealthLeaders- InterStudy. "The Blue Plan's rate was 58 percent in 2007, up from 46.8 percent in 2004."

The report also finds that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has moved more than 40 drugs to treat chronic diseases from Tier 3 to Tier 2 as part of its Medication Dedication program. For example, Tier 3 drugs to treat diabetes moved to Tier 2 status include Byetta, Fortamet, Glucagen, Glumetza, Glyset, Prandin, Riomet, Starlit and Symlin.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina had been more aggressive than competitors CIGNA Healthcare and UnitedHealthcare in the placement of more expensive brand-name drugs in tiers requiring higher copays," continued Ms. Wicks. "However, the decision to move more drugs to lower tiers in 2008 should put Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina more in line with other payers."

Blue Profiler: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is one of 15 2008 Blue Profiler reports on the nation's largest nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, which together insure more than 50 million people.

About Blue Profiler

Blue Profiler offers the most comprehensive analysis of the nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. Each report includes an individual nonprofit Blue plan and includes valuable analysis that will allow companies to more effectively partner with these dominant organizations. Each report includes information on:

  -- Competitive analysis   -- Enrollment trends   -- Company-wide financials   -- HMO financials   -- Consumer-driven products   -- Medicare strategy   -- Pharmacy   -- Disease Management     About HealthLeaders-InterStudy 

HealthLeaders-InterStudy (http://www.hl-isy.com/) is the authoritative source for managed care data and analysis. HealthLeaders-InterStudy is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

  All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be      trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.    For more information, contact:   Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc. for
HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-781-296-2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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